Shilton: Hart looking good for England
| Submit Comments| Comments (5)| Printable VersionPrevious | Next1/1Play SlideshowClose MapDUMMY RUN: Joe Hart goes all out in trainingLegend Peter Shilton has tipped Manchester City?s Joe Hart to become England?s World Cup secret weapon despite some stinging criticism of Fabio Capello?s goalkeepers from the Spanish camp. England?s most capped player believes Hart could yet be Capello's surprise choice for the game against USA in Rustenburg on Saturday. Shay Given?s Eastlands understudy is thought to be third choice behind another former Blues goalie David James and West Ham?s Robert Green. However, Shilts reckons Hart may yet get the nod as England?s No 1. ?You wouldn't be afraid to put Joe Hart in,? he told MEN Sport during his visit to the Reebok Arena for the Tesco Football Roadshow. ?The last couple of times he received his chance, he has looked the part. ?It?s a big ask because of his lack of experience. ?But I wouldn?t be frightened to give him a chance.? Although Shilton?s backing for Hart will be a great morale-booster, Iker Casillas, Real Madrid?s experienced No1, thinks England?s goalkeeping department is their weakest link. The Spanish keeper, a key member of Spain?s Euro 2008-winning squad, believes top teams will be able to expose England?s frailties in that area. He said: ?I can see why both Lionel Messi and Xavi have talked up England?s chances at the World Cup because their class is undisputed. But their goalkeeping situation is a real problem. ?None of the keepers have played even European Cup level, that?s the highest level you can play at club level. ?And if you have never played in the top club competition in the world, you are going to find it hard to perform at the top international level in the world when even more eyes are on you. Casillas view ?If you look at myself, Gigi Buffon of Italy and Julio Cesar of Brazil, we are keepers who?ve all won European Championships, World Cups and European Cups. ?At this level nerves play a big part and any mistake a goalkeeper makes is going to be scrutinised. ?It?s not always about ability at the World Cup, it?s about having been there before and knowing how to handle the big games.? Capello has left England?s fans guessing as to who his No1 will be but Casillas believes he knows who will get the nod. ?I don?t see that England coach Fabio Capello has any choice but to play Robert Green,? he said. But Shilton remains convinced Hart would not let England down. He said: ?Joe started a little shakily during his loan spell at Birmingham. ?However, the manager stuck by him and he went from strength to strength. ?He has looked very confident and took his Birmingham form into England.? Hart only won a single England cap before playing 45 minutes in each of the two pre-tournament matches against Mexico and Japan. And he will become the youngest England keeper to appear at a World Cup finals should he make it on to the pitch ?There?s not a lot to choose between the three of them,? agreed Shilton. ?Joe is a young lad who has come up fast. ?And he wouldn?t be in the final squad if Capello didn?t rate him. ?There are a few little things he can improve on ? not faults because he is still very talented. ?And he?s definitely England?s keeper of the future even if he doesn't make it this time.? Who should get the nod in goal? Have your say.
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